Edited by Marc Hertogh and Richard Kirkham
Chapter 5: Ombudsmen: ‘hunting lions’ or ‘swatting flies’
This chapter is a plea for a new and more rational look at the function of ombudsmen primarily in the UK system but also generally. I shall argue that, in a bureaucratic age with a heavily managerial ethos, we are in danger of sacrificing individuality (the ‘personal dimension’) and diversity. I want to argue too against the piecemeal nature of reforms to the ombudsman office. There has been a failure to consider the functions of the various offices separately and take into account the different ways in which different ombudsmen may need to operate. In particular, there is a danger of under-valuing the constitutional importance of the office of Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (PCA).
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